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Old March 1 2013, 12:36 AM   #41
Nagisa Furukawa
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Re: Dukat character - writer's mess?!

DalekJim wrote: View Post
Yup. Dukat is obviously the antagonist during the occupation arc in S6, no viewer was dumb enough to view him as a hero there. Still, he was written as multi-dimensional with his genuine affection for Kira and his daughter being obvious. I can think of Dukat as a monstrous douche for betraying the Alpha Quadrant to the Dominion, while still feeling really bad for him when his daughter bites it.

But the writers fell the need to spoonfeed the audience and make him 2d evil. The exact same thing happened with Winn, who is OBVIOUSLY starting to like and respect Sisko during S5. Then she comes back in S6 as a 2d evil bitch.
Spoonfeed is the perfect word. I took out my DS9 Companion to get what Behr says on the subject, and since Behr suggests to "deconstruct things," that's what I'll do:

Ira Behr wrote:
I'm always a strong proponent of giving characters' personalities multidimensional aspects and portraying someone in shades of gray rather than black and white.
Heh, you always know when people start off what they're saying with stuff like this that by the end, he's going to end up completely contradicting it. It's like the guy who starts a racist rant by saying, "Now, I'm not a racist, and I have many black friends, BUT..."

(Just to be clear, that's an extreme example I'm comparing Behr too; what he said was nowhere near that bad, but it's the same sort of "I want to make clear that usually I don't agree with what I'm gonna say, but now I'm gonna say it..." method of explanation.)

But you know, being human, I can't help by sometimes react to the feedback we get. And the fact that Dukat had become SUCH a popular character, and I've read things on the Internet where people actually talk about the fact that 'only five million Bajorans were killed during the Occupation - that's not such a big deal.' It's just so... (sigh)
Here, I think is the big issue for Behr. Dukat's change in character has nothing to do with the mumbo jumbo Behr says below and everything to do with overreacting to a couple of people on the Internet. Yes, I'm sure there ARE people who thought that because Dukat was charismatic, genocide must be okay and yes, those people are wrong.

But the integrity of the fiction shouldn't be used as a personal soundboard to argue back with a few nutjobs online, and in doing so, they threw the baby out with the bathwater. There are many more people who understood that Dukat was a vile person who did horrendous things... but thought that the fact that he genuinely thought he was doing the right thing, and was genuinely capable of doing nice and kind acts for those he cared about, was what made him such an interesting villain. "Guy does bad things but thinks he's the hero" is an interesting story. "Guy turns into a cackling supervillain with glowing red eyes" isn't. Having Sisko address the camera and say, "THERE IS PURE EVIL AND IT'S DUKAT" or turning Dukat into a Pah-Wraith toadie who cackles while doing evil things for no reason like killing Jadzia doesn't dispute the people who somehow think genocide is okay; it just makes a good character into a shit one.

Anyway, I make an exception in Dukat's case. Evil may be an unclear concept in this day and age. But Dukat certainly has done evil things. And since he simply refuses to admit to them, we have then to simplify things, deconstruct things, until we get to the most simplistic level, which is: He does evil things, therefore, he is evil.
This is pure "????? Huh?!" territory. But it's clearly pseudo-intellectual twaddle used to justify the real reason they did it (to spoonfeed what was obvious to most of the audience to a couple of wackos and ending up choking them by shoving so much food down their throats). Not a million miles from Dukat actually...
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